Many public sectors institutions have used EcoCooling data centre cooling to reduce energy usage in their data centres. The EcoCooling equipment qualifies for Salix funding and can result in PUEs lower than 1.1 for both new and retrofit data centres.  In this case study, we look at an interesting retrofit at South Yorkshire Police who installed direct evaporative cooling into their data centre.

“Hidden Secret” – At first glance, even to a trained eye, the newly built shared services data centre appears to be based on a conventional design, cooled by standard AC CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning) units. However, on further investigation, you will quickly find that this new facility has a “hidden secret”. Located discretely out of view is a 250kW capacity EcoCooling direct evaporative cooling installation cleverly positioned on a mezzanine deck and constructed directly above the data centre white space. The only visible clue to the existence of the EcoCooling units is a series of air grilles positioned in the data centre ceiling in both hot and cold aisles.

Thinking Outside the Box – Faced with limited external space the design team was challenged to deploy a 2N 250kW cooling arrangement for the Police Authority. The chosen building was a former gymnasium with double height ceilings. The conventional design approach with this type of space is to install composite panel systems in order to lower the ceiling. By reducing the white space volume, it will typically lower costs for the fire suppression installation.

Ignoring convention, by installing a mezzanine deck maximising the attributes of the high ceiling and associated high-level windows in order to create a dedicated “cooling” plant room situated directly above the white space. This innovative and unique EcoCooling WetBoxes in a CREC arrangement breaks the mould for contemporary data centre design. With an annualised PUE of sub 1.1, the installation offers South Yorkshire Police exceptional energy performance exceeding current industry expectations.

Evaporative EcoCooling Units – The primary cooling for SYP’s data centre is supplied via the evaporative cooling/adiabatic units.  The installers created a successful design by replacing windows with grilles, it was possible to create air intake and exit air paths. The design cleverly allows cool air to be ducted via the mezzanine floor directly into the data centre cold aisles. Hot air is drawn out of the hot aisles by a series of fans into the upper level “hot chamber” where it either exits the building or is recirculated dependent on external ambient air temperature conditions.

Backup DX Cooling – The data centre cooling supports 2N levels of resilience for the Police Authority. Should there be an evaporative system failure or if programmable environmental conditions are breached or a “fire” event occurs, the system will automatically switch over to the standby CRAC units designed to deliver in excess of 250kW of backup cooling.

This resilient cooling arrangement allows the data centre to continue to operate under a wide range of conditions while exploiting the maximum energy savings from their direct system .|

Roy Griffiths Workspace Technology’s Technical Director – “Whilst the principles of the direct evaporative free air cooling are based on our extensive installation experience the innovative mezzanine plant room not only helps maximise available space, but it also hides the Evaporative cooling units from view. South Yorkshire Police will also benefit from industry’s leading PUE performance without any compromise to the data centre aesthetics.”